Every team needs a Stuart Holden
, a local lad with talent and spirit and a willingness to work his way off the reserve squad, onto the regular 18, and
occasionally onto the field.
Holden, who had played just 78 minutes this season prior to Houston's game with Colorado Thursday, scored the winning goal just seconds after
replacing Chris Wondolowski
as Houston downed Colorado, 2-1, for its second straight victory despite missing five players because of national-team duty or
Wondolowski, who led the MLS reserve league last year with 13 goals, rewarded Coach Dominic Kinnear
for getting the start in Brian
Ching's absence by setting up forward partner Joseph Ngwenya
's goal in the third minute. Jose Cancela
starting for the first time this season, tied the game on a penalty kick 10 minutes later.
Despite the early goals, the game seldom opened up but a tense energy permeated the
proceedings as the players sweated profusely in 90-degree heat. Zach Wells
, replacing the suspended Pat Onstad, recorded just two saves and nearly gave away an
equalizer when he dropped a ball before covering it in stoppage time. His two saves came less than a minute apart in the first half on Herculez Gomez
and Kyle Beckerman
. Rapids goalie Bouna Coundoul
logged only three saves, though his flamboyant if not always efficient reactions
to crosses added a few exciting moments.
Houston held Gomez to just two shots and by blunting him, it limited opportunities for teammates to penetrate the penalty area. Jacob Peterson
scored four goals last season as a rookie playing mostly in midfield; he got a start, as did Conor Casey
won the penalty kick when Eddie Robinson
fouled him. Nicolas Hernandez
replaced Peterson in the 71st minute and aside
from fouling twice, didn't influence the game.
Rapids forward Roberto Brown
had been inadvertently left off Panama's Gold Cup roster
despite reporting to the team's camp. An assistant coach was erroneously listed as a forward on the final roster and Brown's name was dropped; the error was corrected but Brown injured an
ankle in training Tuesday and returned to Denver Thursday to be further evaluated. He did not dress for this match.
The Scottish-born Holden, who was raised in Houston, played three
years at Clemson, spent some time at Sunderland and came back home last year to score one goal in 13 games (three starts). After replacing Wondolowski, he drifted to his favorite spot on the right
side and ran onto a prodded ball from another sub, Kelly Gray
, and crushed a right-footed blast inside the far post.
Houston (4-5-1) won its
second straight, Colorado (4-4-3) lost it second in a row. The Dynamo has dominated this series since moving from San Jose; it beat the Rapids, 3-1, earlier this year in Commerce City and has won
four of six regular-season meetings.